Marshall County Council Concerned Over Paying EMA Salary

Following the Marshall County commissioners’ decision in March to pay the entirety of EMA Director Clyde Avery’s salary – roughly $40,000 – county council president Matt Hassel has expressed concerns over some possible side effects of that decision. The commissioners made the decision to cover the full cost of Avery’s salary, rather than allow half of it to be paid for through a FEMA grant, because the requirements for the grant have been steadily increasing over the last few years.

The commissioners felt that releasing Avery from the FEMA requirements would allow him to spend more time on county projects, rather than focus on the criteria needed to receive the FEMA funds.

Now, however, Hassel expressed concern over paying the entire salary. He said he’s concerned that failing to keep the state standards would result in the depletion of the county’s emergency readiness, and questioned whether or not removing Avery and the EMA department from FEMA’s coverage might affect the county’s grant eligibility. He said he would hate to see Marshall County have to pay for disaster cleanup without FEMA’s aid.

The council will formally discuss Avery’s salary come budget time.